Now that I have Oriental’s build all sussed out, I still have one more character in need of immediate character-building attention: Mawry Haversack, the original Halfling Commando, recently completed completionist, and also my main character.
How strange that my main character is the one needing the most attention. But regardless.
I already know what I want her to be able to do when the build is complete. Quoting from an older 2009 blog post:
- Self-sufficient: she self heals, self buffs, even makes her own ammunition
- Flexible: She can range, she can melee, she can throw buffs, she can sneak, she can solo. She can’t be the main tank or main healer, but she can do everything else
- Competent: She is actually good at all of these differing roles. She does them well
She won’t be the best at any one of these things, but I am hoping she can be very good at all of them, good enough to add value even at the extreme fringes of the end game.
In the process, I will be making a great soloing build, but that is not the point. The point is building a great Commando. Specifically, a great Halfling Commando.
I feel confident that the best way to build someone who is very good at ranging and also at melee is a Strength-based Ranger. One could argue instead for Monk, with shurikens and unarmed combat, but I just built an excellent Monk and one is enough. Plus, the Monkcher build is super popular, a Flavor-Of-The-Month, meaning it is probably due for a nerf and I’d rather not have to rebuild Mawry again in two updates.
Also, bow users look cool. Shuriken throwers, not so much.
Worse, I have a certain inner revulsion to playing the same build that everyone else is. Probably just hubris, maybe a little hipster, but regardless, I want to pioneer my own build rather than copycatting one that everyone else is playing.
So back to the mainly-ranger thing: Mawry was originally a 13Ranger/6Fighter/1Wizard and that worked very well for the time. And might again for that matter. I’ve also considered 18Ranger/1Monk/1Wizard, or even pure Ranger20.
But I am leaning more towards a three-class split. Part of the reason is UMD: I feel like high UMD is required in a Commando, meaning I need to get in at least one level of something that has UMD as a class skill; Bard, Rogue or Artificer.
A little bit of Rogue would give me sneak attacking and Evasion, but I will already have Evasion. So really, only sneak attacking. Which is not bad, not at all. Rogue enhancements could aid stealth and further sneakery but no other Commando attributes.
A little Artificer would give me a (very weak) steel dog companion that I suppose I could use for levers? Also, infusions for my weapons and armor, and +2 to my UMD. Artificer enhancements add nothing Commando-like. Nor does a Rune arm; a proper Commando is not going to be going on special forces missions carrying a vivid, whirring clockwork light show wherever she goes.
Bard provides songs, which do not strike me as particularly Commando-like, but also the ability to cast most Arcane spells in light armor with no chance of spell failure. The Warchanter enhancement tree has a few items of interest to a Commando, particularly Skaldic Rage (all the Strength, none of the inability to cast spells), and some cold-based weapon buffs that – as they are written at least – appear to work equally well on ranged and melee weapons.
If I go Rogue, how much? Just the one level to open up UMD? If I go Bard, how much? Enough to qualify for those cold-based weapon buffs? And if I go Bard, do I still need to have any Wizard?
So many things to think about.
What do you think?
🙂 😀 🙂